Risks are the Way to Go

Ben - Newton, Massachusetts
Entered on June 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change
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Moving for a teenager in the middle of their social life is a nightmare. When I moved, I couldn’t help but worry and ponder what the new area would be like. Moving to Newton, MA pushed the experience into my face. Eleven years of making best friends in Connecticut vanished as I boarded my car on my way to Newton. My thoughts were consumed with stress, worrying and sadness about what I was going to do. However, because of this move, I have a more positive attitude: now I believe that taking risks is a natural and necessary part of growing up.

Once I arrived in Newton and started the school year, I began to realize, moving isn’t so bad. Those feelings of stress were behind me in the new wave of life. Here in Newton I have the best friends and the best places to go. Had I not moved and accepted the risk, I would never have met my best friends here like Mehran, Dylan, Adam, and Sam. We move almost as a pack, watching out for each other, but at the same time conjuring plans of ditching with our few best friends. In just a matter of two years, I made the closest friends I could have. Taking a risk is a scary thought, but once you do it, stress disappears letting in new ideas and experiences that enrich your mind.

Whenever I see my youngest cousins (under the age of seven), they are always hugging the same blankie or the same stuffed animal. I’ve always wondered what possesses a child to stick to one treasure. I probably did it too, but I still ponder what goes on in the kid’s mind when s/he chooses the same item repeatedly. I’ve bought my cousins toys, old versions, new versions, the works. At first, the young ones always reject them, with, “No! I want my blankie.” However, after an hour, hour and a half with the new toy, they have moved on quite quickly from their prized blankie. As young children, there probably is always an impulse to stick with the old thing, yet at the same time try something new. My cousins don’t know it, but they are modeling a natural need for balance between old and new.

I will always be open to new things; I hope that others out in the world are too. If I hadn’t moved, I know I would never have tried track for fear of not being good enough. Here in Newton, however, fewer people judge you for what you do, but more for why you do it. I’m not the best at track, I just want to get stronger. Everyone here knows that I am doing it for myself. This risk, like many, makes my life a more enjoyable and fuller experience.